What is heartening to see is how many optical vendors are offering Eco Totes and reusable bags as part of their brand building and promotional products. For those that attend any optical trade show, I hope you are grabbing as much as possible as the future will bring more and more cities and states banning single use plastic bags.
Before plastic bags people carried groceries and what-not in cloth and mesh bags. Starting in the 1960’s companies started aggressively pushing the use of single use plastic bags, promoting the throw away society as we know it today. If you think that banning single use Plastic Bags is a recent law introduction, it is not. In 1988 Suffolk County New York passed a law banning plastic bags (overturned) and Maine passed a law in 1991 and it was overturned.
By 1998 Plastic Bags became the norm and by 1997 the first reports were coming in on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Today one can barely walk or drive a mile without seeing floating plastic bags on the streets. By 2007 the first laws came into play to ban single use or charge for single use plastic bags.
By now, most people know or should know the environmental effects of plastic bags which is why we today are honoring a few companies that have gave great reusable bags as give-aways.
Far thinking and visionary optical buying group, Vision West foresaw the future back in 2007 and initiated their reusable bag program along with water bottles. Every year or so they launch new reusable bags. I love their foldable version and have a few stashed away in luggage and purses.
ClearVision Optical debuted the first of their eco totes in 2008.
For 2017, ClearVision’s Eco Tote to be given with purchase at Vision Expo East 2017. Their bag is both functional and fun, featuring an exterior pocket with a snap closure and an interior zipper compartment. The adjustable and removable strap allows the wearer to easily convert the handheld tote into a shoulder bag or crossbody bag. Yes, I want one.
Modern Optical Feed USA tote was given away at another Vision Expo, with a percentage given back to Feed USA. This bag was a perfect size and I gave to a person in line at a grocery store that took a plastic bag to put in a bottle of aspirin in.
Tura has also given away many bags with frame purchases over the years. This is a personal favorite and I get compliments on it.
If this frame looks familiar, it is.. anyone remember the Tura x Christian Dior frame circa 1960?
Costa’s Marine Conservation program includes a campaign to #kickplastic to help save our oceans.
As you are looking to build your brand, why not consider reusable bags as part of the Eyecare Experience? Many of you already have a ‘gift package’, why not make it a tote with your brand? Companies such as Ron’s Optical can customize a bag for you.
I admit, I am a reusable bag nut and see absolutely no reason for any one to use a single use plastic bag. For those that think they need one for their dog, many items come wrapped in plastic that can be re-used, the same goes for trash can liners.
For health sake, if not for the environment, I hope that those who are dependent on plastic break the habit.